Eric Church had been relatively quiet since dropping his Desperate Man album in 2018. On the heels of that LP, he released several singles including, “Crazyland,” “Bad Mother Trucker,” and “Stick That in Your Country Song,” but the October 2020 single “Through My Ray-Bans” may have the most powerful message of the bunch.
As with many people in the country music community and around the nation as a whole, Church was devastated following the killing of 58 people when a gunman opened fire at concert-goers during the Route 91 Harvest music festival in Las Vegas, Nev., in 2017. The singer had performed at the festival only two days earlier. Church took the stage at the Grand Ole Opry soon after the tragedy, sharing his thoughts about the harrowing incident. “I looked out there, at that crowd, in that place,” he said, per The Country Note. “I saw them with their hands in the air … that moment in time was frozen.”
“Through My Ray-Bans” was dedicated to the victims of the Las Vegas tragedy, with Church singing about unity. “Everybody’s got their arms around / Everybody else’s shoulders / Guardin’ against the world outside / Like an army of Friday night soldiers.” However, the song took on an even deeper meaning as another crisis emerged, as The Country Note reported.
'Through My Ray-Bans' is more poignant than ever
Speaking to Rolling Stone about the mass shooting, Eric Church revealed how distraught he was following the Route 91 Harvest music festival tragedy. “Something broke in me that night, and it still hasn’t healed,” he told the publication. The song was dedicated to those victims, but it took on another meaning amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Country Note.
Before releasing “Through My Ray-Bans,” Eric Church offered fans a sneak peek of the said song with a YouTube video titled, “Who Will Answer The Call?” Church gave an uplifting spoken-word message in the clip that discussed people banning together to confront the crisis. “I believe these halls will roar again. These stadiums will be deafening in the answer to this enemy,” the singer is heard saying. “The silence of now will cower at the noise of soon. We shall rage. We shall roar. I cannot wait to see you again. Through my Ray-Bans,” he delivered passionately. In the second half of the song’s chorus, Church references seeing a united crowd while peering out his dark shades. “The battle wages tomorrow / But tonight you don’t give a damn / Wish you could stay the way I see you / Through my Ray-Bans,” he sings.
Specifically referencing the “roar” part of the lyrics, Church discussed how the song relates to the coronavirus pandemic. “I think about the 1918 pandemic and there’s a reason the Roaring Twenties happened,” he told the Associated Press. “When people roared, they roared. I believe that will happen again.”
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